US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Special Section: The environment

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Climate change, nonrenewable resources, mountain top removal. When it comes to the environment, the earth is getting the short end of the stick. As Earth Day approaches this April, our home planet can be a ball of confusion. What should we do? What shouldn't we do? Here are some ideas and resources to help you sort it all out—and recycle it!

High and dry: Water poverty in the United States
Some of us take for granted the most precious resource of all. Lack of water harms families not only in the Third World, but also here at home.

Though the mountains may fall
Cheap coal is taking its toll not only on the decapitated mountains of Appalachia but on the demoralized people of the region as well. Paul Corbit Brown's photos document the destruction.

Some bright ideas for Earth Day
Resources for celebrating the Earth

Park it! 
Americans should reconsider our love affair with cars.

The Canticle of the Sun
In honor of Earth Day, let’s hear from one of the great saints of our church about the wonders of creation. Be sure to share this prayer with your children.

41 bright ideas for going green
Take your pick and be inspired by the Bible, prayer, politics, your parish, or your family.

Change the climate in Washington
Through politics, Catholics can change the way we treat the Earth.

Does the earth have a prayer?
Love of creation has deep roots in our Catholic spiritual traditions.

Waste not, want not
Earth-friendly living starts at home.

The Bible tells me so
The Good Book is full of passages to inspire environmental action.

Green isn’t just for Ordinary Time
Parishes are investing in eco-friendly techniques to save money and the earth. (And for more on parishes going green, see Our Lady of Waste Management and Why should parishes go green?


Religious by Nature
Keith Warner, O.F.M. recycles some ancient traditions from his spiritual father Francis for modern use to convince Catholics to protect the environment.

The sky is falling. No, really
Even if Kristin Shrader-Frechette's mother hadn't died of an environmentally-induced cancer at the age of 43, leaving seven children motherless in Kentucky, chances are the Notre Dame professor would still have grown up to be a dynamo researcher and scholar working for environmental justice.
WEB ONLY: “5 questions with Kristin Shrader-Frechette”

All creatures great and small
Let's quit giving ourselves permission to wreak havoc on God's good earth, says Anne Clifford, C.S.J. We're not the only ones in whom God delights.
WEB ONLY: “5 questions with Anne Clifford”

Learn more about environmental concerns, such as oil use, parks in poor neighborhoods, and sustainable farming, by reading articles in our Environment listing.

What does your faith tell you about the Earth? How do you celebrate God's creation on Earth Day? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo above by Paul Corbit Brown